5 weeks pregnant: Key points

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Changes for mum

  • You may start noticing pregnancy symptoms like morning sickness, heartburn and insomnia this week. These symptoms can be unpleasant but are perfectly normal and a sign your pregnancy is well underway.
  • The body changes which began in week 4, such as breast and cervical changes continue this week.
    • Your breasts may be sore or begin to get bigger (they’re already preparing for breast feeding!).
    • You may need to urinate more frequently due to the pressure your growing baby places on your cervix and bladder.
    • You placenta finishes developing and starts transferring nutrients from you to your baby this week. It also begins producing more of the pregnancy hormone hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) this week.

Changes for baby

  • From this week until week 9 of pregnancy your baby becomes known as an embryo.
  • It is still tiny- just 1.5mm long or about the size of a pen tip.
  • The baby’s cells begin to differentiate this week, that is, to produce different types of cells (for the nervous system, the bones and other body parts and organs). There are three different cells types:
    • Cells called mesoderm which will grow into muscles, connective tissues, genital organs and bones;
    • Cells called ectoderm which form the digestive system and the linings of body cavities like the lungs and stomach;
    • Endoderm cells from which your baby’s skin, eyes, and nervous system grow.
    • You baby’s heart begins beating. It’s not yet detectable because there is no blood in your baby’s body for the heart to beat around, but nevertheless the heartbeat starts this week.

Doctor appointments and tests

  • If you have not already selected a pregnancy care provider, which may be your GP, an obstetrician or a midwife, it is good to select one now. Establishing a relationship with someone who will provide care throughout your pregnancy is important in the early stages.
  • If you did not receive preconception care, visit your care provider for a check up to ensure your body is as healthy as possible at the beginning of your pregnancy. You may need a folate supplement or treatment to correct a health condition.
  • Avoid alcohol, tobacco and other dangerous substances. The first few weeks of your baby’s development are crucial- the nervous system forms in these weeks- so it’s important not to consume anything which will interrupt the process and harm your baby.
  • Eat a healthy diet. You don’t need to eat any extra, just make sure you’re eating a nutritious diet including lots of fruits and vegies.

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More information on the 5th week of pregnancy

For more information on the fifth week of pregnancy, see 5 weeks pregnant.
For more information about the subtle changes in your body which are symptoms of pregnancy, see Changes for mum this week.
For more information about how your baby is changing and developing, see Changes for baby this week.
For more information about appointments regarding pregnancy health advice and other lifestyle changes, see Doctor appointments this week.
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Date Created: August 26, 2012 Date Modified: March 5, 2013